Police Jury OKs pipeline ordinance
Pipeline companies wanting to traverse Acadia Parish will have to give fair warning from now on.
An ordinance adopted by the police jury Tuesday night mandates that any and all pipeline companies wishing to cross Acadia Parish come before the jury for a public hearing prior to approaching land owners.
If the pipeline company attempts to circumvent the public hearing process by contacting the land owner first, it will be fined $10,000 per day from the day of contact until such time as the public hearing is held.
The ordinance was spearheaded by Juror A.J. “Fatty” Broussard, who said he had been approached by a number of land owners whose property was being expropriated by pipeline companies.
Broussard explained to his fellow jurors that some pipeline companies were veering off already established rights of way “just to avoid a property owner further down the line with whom (the company) was having problems.”
Add to that the fact that a property owner cannot build any type of structure over an existing right of way, and “we’re just running out of property,” Broussard said.
He added that at least one company had expressed an interest in moving to Acadia Parish, but could not find a tract of land large enough upon which to build its facility because of the number of underground pipelines.
“The state Legislature recently passed a similar measure, but it had no penalties in it because of the pressure of the lobbyists in Baton Rouge,” Broussard said. “I asked Rep. (Jack) Montoucet if we could put some teeth in ours and he said we could do whatever we wanted — so we did.”
In other action during Tuesday night’s May meeting, jurors unanimously approved joining OneAcadia as a Founding Benefactor contingent upon the new economic development group’s approval as a 501(c)(6) non-profit entity.
Laurie Suire, interim executive director of OneAcadia, was accompanied by board members Pat Bordes II and Danny Nugier to explain the mission of OneAcadia.
Suire pointed out that the City of Rayne has already joined the group and that the City of Crowley has requested invoice information.
As a Founding Benefactor, the jury agrees to pay $2,000 for membership in the group for the first two years. The membership fee is renewable annually thereafter.